Wednesday, July 3, 2013

life around here: a vegetarian foodie's paradise

You know, I blindly thought that once I started my maternity leave, I would be blogging and crafting up a storm.

Sometimes life has a funny way of teaching you (me) a lesson on expectations. For the past week I've spent more time sleeping than I think I ever have in my life, including my first trimester (probably because I'm home and can get away with it whereas I couldn't in my first trimester at work). Suffice to say, my busy napping schedule has left little time for an excess of productivity and I've had to learn to make peace with my body's desire to slow down. We've been hashing out a compromise and I think we may have found a balance, finally.

We'll see how things go this week!

That said, there have been some fun changes in Faye land.

We bought plants from a local nursery (they grow things locally) and planted a garden in our front yard:



The cat has been getting a lot of quality cuddle time:


It's actually sort of interesting, she is very good about not climbing up on my belly. Instead she tucks herself under, beside, below the big belly. She also hovers around me a lot these days. If I ever had any doubts that she knows I'm pregnant, her reaction to recent events (baby Faye spending some quality time in my rib cage to the point of me hurling my cookies) has reaffirmed that she is in the know. She is almost mothering me in an odd, catlike manner. It's cute and totally endearing and also makes me a little nervous about what her reaction will be when the "invader" usurps her territory!

I've been trying out a lot of new recipes:


Vietnamese spring rolls. I really need to work on my rolling technique but otherwise they were ok. Not the favourite thing I cooked this week.

That prize would go to these:


Ginger Garlic Tofu. So delicious. I always struggle with cooking tofu. I know it's all about the seasoning but I struggle to get the seasoning right. These are definitely right. Mr Faye even went back for seconds and he never does that when it comes to plain, seasoned tofu. (He'll eat the tofu when blended into a main dish, like small cubes in a stir fry, or fake veggie meat products, but otherwise he's not a tofu fan cause he finds it heavy). So I'm pleased that I found this recipe here: Mary Makes Dinner

We also tried Terriyaki Garlic Tofu Kebabs:


They were ok, nothing amazing. Mr Faye complained about the size of the tofu (see above) but dosed in teriyaki sauce, he was ok with them.

I also did a little baking on a cooler day:


Chocolate chip and Oatmeal Raisin cookies. I added cinnamon and clove, which added a little something something to the cookies. I've never had oatmeal cookies with clove in them before and they were a nice variation on a standard recipe. Hopefully I'll be able to freeze about half of the stash so that if and when people come over after Baby Faye's arrival I'll have a small something to offer them. Nothing big or high maintenance but enough so that I won't feel like a bad host (I know this isn't something I need to worry about but it's my nature so I'm just dealing with it ahead of time).

We also tried a new curry:


Mushroom Chickpea Coconut Curry. It was good. The drawback was that most of the flavour really relied on the red chili spice so it wasn't as savory as we expected. In the future I'd play a little more with spices in it to make it a bit more dense in terms of flavour.

Another favourite new find was this salad:


Thai Inspired Cucumber Salad with Roasted Chickpeas. I found the recipe for the roasted chickpeas on Chow. It was a good salad, perfect for a hot summer day. The drawback was that the chickpeas need to be in the oven (400) for about 30-40 minutes, which isn't ideal for a hot day. So if you decide to try it, roast the chickpeas on a cooler day or early in the day. It was a hit though and will definitely be on the menu again this summer.

It's actually been really fun to be able to experiment with new foods and expand our menu. A couple of weeks ago we tried a lot of more Mexican inspired dishes, and last week we seemed to gravitate more towards Thai/Asian cuisine. I love that there are so many amazing flavours you can play with, even as a vegetarian (which seems to be something that really boggles the minds of non-vegetarians with little experience cooking foods outside of a traditional European/North American palate).

Lest you think that all I did was sleep and eat, I did create this little kimono style crochet jumper:


I still have to weave in and finish off the loose ends, but I figured that if I was going to spend so much time napping and vegging on the couch that I need to accomplish a little something. It's so tiny that it kind of freaks me out! Mr Faye finds it a bit girly so I might give it to my friend who had a baby a little while ago (if it still fits her), we'll see.

So that's what I've been up to lately, while being quiet on the blogging front. More productive than I thought when I look back on it, but still less busy than I expected to be.

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